As Barcelona wind down another LaLiga season, question marks will again be asked over certain players.
Players who, despite their seniority in the team, haven’t performed at the required level for the club, and for a consistent period, not just a game or two here and there.
Whilst it’s an unpalatable thought, sooner or later, the regeneration of the squad takes precedence over keeping the big names happy.Over the last decade or so, a period of time which could quite rightly be termed Barcelona’s golden era, Lionel Messi has been the main man.
Without him, it’s completely fair to argue that the Catalans wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful as they have been.
He did have an epic supporting cast for the most part, mind. Names that trip off of the tongue with ease. Alves, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Pedro et al.
And Sergio Busquets.
The quiet man of the team is arguably the most important behind the Argentinian, and though much of the work that he does often goes unnoticed, without his influence in midfield, Barca wouldn’t have become as successful. Period.
That’s why, watching him over the last few months has become a painful experience for many.
Busquets is the footballer’s footballer. The one that makes things tick with consummate ease. And yet, his level of performance over the last eight or nine months has been woeful compared to what Barca have been used to.
Age is fast catching up with him, and though he was never the quickest of players to begin with, he has looked laboured in many of the games during the 2019/20 campaign.
Where he excelled was in his passing range and his ability to cut out opposition attacks.
He’s managed to do the latter on sporadic occasions of late, but some of his passing has been, frankly, awful. Certainly not Barcelona standard.
Of course, he is one of the standard bearers of the ‘Guardiola generation,’ and to that end, he’s often given a free pass when the criticism is being handed out. But no more.
It has to be called as seen, and ‘Busi’ simply doesn’t justify his inclusion in the starting line-up any longer.
He has been subbed more than he’s been used to this season and that might’ve been a surprise to many, but the club need to be more progressive again.
Reliving past glories helps no one.
If dropping Busquets for the most part of 2020/21 means that Barcelona have a better chance at winning titles again, then that’s a call the hierarchy have to make whether they like it or not.